The newest Big Buck’s Ice Cream has a espresso bar and seating.

More evidence that spring is officially here—the first First Friday of the season on April 1st in Manteo. A great evening and a lot of fun.

The waterfront area of Manteo where First Fridays are held looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Now the home of the Dare County Arts Council, the old Dare County Courthouse, built in the early 20th century is the centerpiece and going up the streets on both sides of the building are storefronts, restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

Two businesses had their grand opening with the festivities—Big Buck’s Ice Cream Shop took over the Manteo Coffee House on Sir Walter Raleigh Street and Cory Hemilright who is the force behind the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival opened his Bluegrass Island Box Office Store in the Phoenix Shops.

Big Buck’s probably was the best attended—$1 ice cream . . . $1 everything tends to bring everyone in off the street. And since the bake their own goods, create their own chocolate and make their ice cream fresh everyday, the money was very well spent.

Complete with a banjo cake, it was a good time over at Bluegrass Island as well. Great music on the porch from Drifting Sands and inside along with ticket sales and CDs there is a small exhibit about Buffalo City.

Cory, who grew up in East Lake, has a family tree with roots deep in Buffalo City.

Now a ghost town—actually there is nothing left of it, the swamp has reclaimed everything—from the late 1800s to the mid 1930s it was a bustling small city. It began life as a logging town, and about the time logging gave out, prohibition began. For the next ten years it was the center of a thriving moonshine industry.

It was a nice evening just to get out and stroll around the town. Next First Friday is May 6.